An important step in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process is attending a section 341 meeting of your creditors. This meeting is where your trustee will ask you questions under oath. However, some Tennessee bankruptcy filers fear they may have problems handling or attending a creditor meeting due to personal limitations or disabilities. Fortunately, there are ways you can be accommodated.
The U.S. Department of Justice states that provisions can be made if a debtor is unable to appear at a scheduled meeting. Some bankruptcy filers serve in the military and are required to report for duty. Incarceration can also make it impossible to appear at a meeting. Unexpectedly contracting an illness or living with a physical disability may also make it hard or impossible to make a personal appearance.
If any of these factors are present, the U.S. Trustee and the standing trustee have the option of working out a different way to proceed with the meeting. Some creditor meetings can be adjourned to a different date. However, if it is unlikely a debtor can make a personal appearance in the near future, the trustees can work out a way to conduct the meeting over remote communication, such as over the telephone, allowing the bankruptcy filer to answer questions from a different location than the meeting room.
Some bankruptcy filers can show up for the meeting, but they may not be proficient in speaking or understanding English. The DOJ explains that the United States Trustee Program provides telephonic interpretation services at no expense to the bankruptcy filer. These interpretation services are made available in as many as 250 meetings rooms in the U.S. and can be translated into 196 languages. Anyone who desires to use this service should consult the trustee before the meeting to make sure it can be set up at the meeting location.
Preparing for a section 341 meeting is just one of a number of processes you need to undertake for your upcoming Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The good news is that many needs can be accommodated to make the process go forward. People with other concerns about completing Chapter 13 can consult with an attorney to understand their options under law.